Re: SkyMap v1.0

Walter Nissen (dk058@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Sat, 23 Mar 1996 18:01:05 -0500

> As far as Quicksat is concerned, are we talking about the same program? 
> I've used v2.1 on the PC and the need to _manually_ edit an ASCII control 
> file whenever the user wishes to change a program parameter seems 
> unbelievably archaic (to put it mildly).  This procees would seem to me to 
> be far more of an obstacle for beginners than any presented by SkyMap's 
> intuitive Windows-based user interface. 
I think we are talking about the same program.  I wouldn't quibble with 
the adjective archaic.  But let's examine it in a little more detail. 
QuickSat is written by Mike McCants, whose visual catalog was cited for 
its excellence in Sky&Telescope Magazine as long ago as 1971.  That's 
archaic.  As far as I know, it is still the best available catalog, 
despite my efforts and many others.   Now how do you assemble a fine 
visual catalog?  You observe a lot of satellites.  A LOT.  That is where 
QuickSat shines.  I would guess, from my own experience and that of many 
others reported to me, that people who start using QS, begin to see about 
3 times as many satellites as before. 
Many of these non-archaic interfaces fit beautifully into the 
"baby-sitting" model of computing; buy a bunch of equipment and hire a 
bunch of people to baby-sit it all day (I have a bunch of models of 
computing which I might mention from time-to-time).  QS has a specific 
purpose and it fulfills that purpose excellently.


Walter Nissen